Investing.com – The dollar pushed lower against the other major currencies on Tuesday, weighed by the release of downbeat U.S. durable goods data, while investors eyed the outcome of Wednesday’s Federal Reserve meeting.
The U.S. Commerce Department reported that total durable goods orders dropped 3.4% last month, compared to expectations for a gain of 0.5%. Orders for durable goods in November were revised down to a 2.1% drop from a previously reported decline of 0.9%.
Core durable goods orders, excluding volatile transportation items, declined by 0.8% in December, disappointing forecasts for a 0.6% gain. Core durable goods orders declined by 1.3% in November, whose figure was revised from previously reported drop of 0.7%.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was down 0.70% at 94.63, not far from Friday’s more than 11-year highs of 95.77.
EUR/USD gained 0.80% to 1.1325, off Monday’s lows of 1.1099, the weakest since September 2003.
The single currency hit 11-year lows against the dollar on Monday in the wake of a sweeping election victory for the anti-austerity Syriza party in Greece.
However, the euro stabilized as the currency’s steep losses prompted investors to take profits on bearish euro positions.
Investors still remained cautious amid concerns over Syriza’s pledge to renegotiate the terms of Greece’s €240 billion international bailout, which could cause the country to leave the euro zone.
The pound was also higher against the dollar, with GBP/USD up 0.52% to 1.5151.
Earlier Tuesday, the Office for National Statistics reported that U.K. gross domestic product expanded by 0.5% in the final three months of 2014, below forecasts for growth of 0.6%. The U.K.’s economy grew by 0.7% in the previous quarter.
Year-over-year, U.K. economic growth grew 2.7% in the three months ending December, missing expectations for a gain of 2.8%. The U.K. economy expanded at an annualized rate of 2.6% in the third quarter of 2014.
A separate report showed that U.K. mortgage approvals decreased to a 20-month low of 35,700 last month from November’s total of 36,700. Analysts had expected the number of new mortgages approved to decline to 36,600 in December.
Elsewhere, the Swiss franc remained lower against the euro and the dollar amid speculation that the Swiss National Bank was intervening in the market to weaken the currency.
EUR/CHF was up 0.07% at 1.0158 after rising as high as 1.0382 earlier and rallying more than 3% on Monday. USD/CHF slid 0.66% to 0.8971, after rising as high as 0.9166 earlier.
In an interview on Tuesday, SNB Vice President Jean-Pierre Danthine said the bank was still “fundamentally prepared” to intervene in currency markets. “The minimum exchange rate couldn’t have been maintained anymore” with the ECB’s bond purchasing program, he added.
The dollar pushed lower against the yen, with USD/JPY down 0.78% to 117.54.
The Australian and New Zealand dollars remained higher, with AUD/USD adding 0.18% to 0.7939 and NZD/USD rising 0.23% to 0.7444. The Canadian dollar edged up but remained near six-year lows, with USD/CAD down 0.18% at 1.2455.
Later in the day, the U.S. was to release private sector reports on consumer confidence and new home sales.
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